Tami Simon: You’re listening to Insights at The Edge. Today I speak with Florence Meleo-Meyer. Florence is a senior teacher at The Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she also directs Oasis, an institute for mindfulness-based professional education and innovation. She holds degrees in both education and psychology and is a licensed family therapist. Florence has developed mindfulness programs for adolescents called Cool Minds, and for educators, a program called The Aware Teacher. With Sounds True—along with Saki Santorelli, the director for the Center for Mindfulness—Florence has created a new comprehensive online training in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). It is an online training that includes 23 hours of video content, exercises, and online support.

In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Florence and I spoke about the process of remembrance. We also talked about the practice of what’s called “Interpersonal Mindfulness.” We also talked about mindfulness practice and healing from trauma, and how to take a pause if you’re feeling overwhelmed or under-resourced. Finally, Florence shared with us a brief mindfulness practice we can use whenever we feel the need to return to ourselves. Here’s my very helpful conversation with Florence Meleo-Meyer.

To begin with, Florence, I’d love to know how you personally came to the practice of mindfulness?

Florence Meleo-Meyer: Well, I guess I’ve always been interested in meditation and in awareness. So I came to meditation in my teens, and I began really formal practice in about 1975 with Siddha Yoga meditation, with Swami Muktananda, and studied in India and the US. Eventually, I led a meditation center for almost nine years out of my home in Long Island, and was teaching Siddha meditation for a number of years. Then, also, I worked as a family therapist, working with a lot of trauma and running groups for people who had experienced trauma in their lives, at a mental healthy facility.

I kept feeling that I was teaching meditation and meeting suffering very directly, but I couldn’t bring them together. So, in the early 90s I came to this stress-reduction program and came to train, really, to find more refined ways or more accessible ways to bring meditation and mindfulness to the people I was working with. So you know, it feels like mindfulness is really universal, and [there are] many different ways of meeting it. But the way it was defined with Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work felt so easy to bring to people, and unthreatening and very graspable. So that was actually how I began my own practice of mindfulness, meditation, and then very specifically with MBSR. Then I began practicing with insight meditation as well.

TS: Now, it’s easy for me—relatively easy—to understand mindfulness as a formal practice. I’m now going to spend 20 minutes practicing mindfulness of the breath, or mindful eating, or anything where I know I’m going to set aside a period of time and I’m going to intentionally put all of my attention into what’s happening in the present moment. But I know you work with mindfulness [both] in a formal way and then also what you call “applied mindfulness,” mindfulness in the midst of your life. That’s the part that’s harder for me to appreciate. Can we really be mindful all of the time, in everything that we’re doing outside of these formal practice periods?

FM: Well, I think being mindful all of the time sounds extremely challenging, like there’s some level of perfection to it. I think that we wave in and out around the quality of our attentiveness and the brightness, the present-moment sharpness of it that is fueled by the intention to be present in any given moment. So there are times when, no—I can speak very personally—I’m moving into a kind of automatic place. But the more I practice both formally and intentionally (informally), it starts to inform the almost micro-moments during the day. Those build up. But I do feel there’s a kind of a flexing in and out around how very clear the quality of awareness or the quality of mindfulness is during the day. It is right there to be met moment-to-moment. Sometimes when I’m most lost is when I remember most strongly.

TS: Do you have a sense of how much formal practice of mindfulness is really required in order to have it start seeping into our every day life when we’re not formally practicing?

FM: I think there are a lot of studies going on with that question. You know? Is it 10 minutes that there’s evidence of changes in the brain? Or is it 30 minutes a day that develops greater strength and flexibility around remembering once one has forgotten where one is? I think it’s more, Tami, around the regularity: that doing something every day is the continuity of building a muscle of remembrance. So, practicing, even if it’s 10 minutes one day and another day it’s 30 and another day it’s 45 minutes, somehow that intention and choosing to practice and bring this wakefulness into one’s life creates greater—it feels like tensile strength, you know, this ability to flex and grow with the practice, but regularity matters a lot.

TS: Now, you’ve used this word a couple of times, “remembering” and “remembrance”—can you explain more what you mean by that? What are you remembering when you return to mindfulness?

FM: Yes, thank you. Well, for me, the remembering is touching into a spaciousness, a sense of wholeness. Presence—being awake just now. And from that place of remembering—I could even use the word “member,” you know, to reconnect with the body, with this physicality, the aliveness of the body, with the breath—of what’s in actuality. There is this remembering and then the drifting off and forgetting. Some of the forgetting gets me, or one, caught in strong identification around perception, the way I’m seeing the world or the ideas and opinions of the world. When I remember, there’s a return to wholeness. A return to—it feels like a sense of greater freedom, even if emotions are turbulent. There’s a greater spaciousness holding us.

TS: Do you use any reminding devices? You know, sometimes people put Post-its on their bathroom mirror or refrigerator or things like that.

FM: I choose certain moments in the day to consciously remember. One, for me, is when I step out of my house in the morning, before I have a long drive to work. Just the moment I’m facing east and I see the sunrise and the colors in the sky and feel the air, and feel myself standing there. The choice to say, “Here it is!” Here is this moment at the start of the day that’s completely unknown. So, that’s a reminder for me. I’ve never been good with Post-its. [Laughs]You know? To have a sign on the phone that says “breathe” or something, I’d just overlook it after a while. It becomes just a bunch of words. But it’s more if I can choose times in the day to help me anchor. So, there are a series of those. Then, after a while, even if I’m rushing, it’s almost like that remembrance comes back to me. It supports me. So, the stepping out of the door is like, “Oh, here it is again!” I think, too, that’s the value of repetition and of frequency around practice.

TS: Now, you said there were a series of moments like that beyond the stepping out of the door. I’d love to know what those are? I think they might be helpful to people.

FM: OK. I keep trying to add to these during the day. One is during moments of eating, to pause and really feel into this moment of the food—the colors, the tastes, the texture of the food, the moment of being nourished. A sense of gratitude. Before going to sleep, following the breath into drifting off to sleep, is one. With waking up, a practice I really love is just in the morning, sensing my body and then this moment of placing my feet—coming out of bed and placing my feet on the floor and just feeling myself taking the weight of standing. It’s also just a moment of like, “Here! I’m awake! I’m alive in this moment!” It’s extremely full. It’s very nourishing.

TS: You used another interesting word. You talked about anchoring yourself in some sense in the present moment. You’ve also been talking a lot about sensations, and I’m wondering if you could speak a little bit more about this idea of how you anchor yourself in the process of remembrance?

FM: Well, particular choices around these moments feel like an anchor to what’s actual in the moment. To feeling into the body. The breath—often, awareness of the breath is an anchor that immediately gathers my energy to the moment. I am alive and that awareness of this breath in this moment—because the breath is only happening now—and all of the mind activity of what’s about to happen, what’s required of me and whatever I’m perseverating on about what just happened, can come rightfully into this present moment with that anchor.

TS: OK, this is kind of an odd question, Florence, but I want to ask it, which is, how do you feel about being mindfully unmindful? What I mean is just saying, “OK, I’m going to spend the next five minutes completely not being mindful and I know I’m going to do it.”

FM: [Laughs] Actually, then that is being mindful. Mindfully unmindful? Hmmm. Well, the closest I can relate this to—it just makes me laugh to think of that because it’s kind of like a question like, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? Choosing to be unmindful is actually being mindful. There are times I can relate this to, [such] as when I’ve just done a tremendous amount of work and I’ll say, “That’s it.” I’m just going to watch something on television or even—I don’t know—I can say go for a walk or something, but even that feels like I’m aware of the senses taking in the experience.

TS: I think watching something on television, like watching something sort of stupid, that seems like a good example of saying, “You know, I’ve really been practicing mindfulness—maybe I just finished a retreat or maybe I’ve just had a day of really focused attention—and now I’m just going to be a zombie for the next 30 minutes. But I know that I’m mindfully choosing to do that.” I’m just curious what you think about that?

FM: It comes back, Tami, to the fact that choice is such a big part of mindfulness, of practicing awareness and choosing to be aware. It’s like this intention to pay attention. So, in some way, what we’re looking at here is, what’s the quality of attention? So there’s this element of choice that’s activated, but it’s maybe that the attentiveness is much more loose. It’s not quite as sharp and focused. So, it’s allowing a more relaxed kind of focus—a more diffused focus perhaps. It’s like watching something silly, but still the choice is engaged. The choice to just hang back, kick back for a while, which I think is really necessary. I think that’s very important. I think sometimes when people first begin practicing mindfulness there’s a great efforting that can happen—a kind of a striving to be very, very attentive. It’s almost like people with sort of wide eyes staring at one another. It can ease up so that being mindful or choosing to relax, choosing to be at ease, choosing to kick back for a while is all possible, and it’s possible to be mindful within it but not striving. So it’s lightening up on that part of it.

TS: You mentioned in talking about your background that you’ve worked with people who have experienced trauma. I’m curious what your experience has been in mindfulness being applied in working with people who have a background with trauma?

FM: Well, from working with people with trauma I’d say one of the key elements for many people is that one’s will was trespassed. Something happened in their life that crossed boundaries without their permission. So, mindfulness itself, as I was saying, is involved with making a choice. It engages the integrity of one’s willingness. It’s not so much this will to—you know, like the striving—but the willingness to be awake moment to moment. From that there comes the possibility for greater compassion and greater skill, and a greater sense of what’s enough. So, with the cultivation of mindfulness comes the ability to care for oneself and to have a more sensitive sense of, “This is enough!” It’s like knowing when it’s time to kick back, or it’s time to call a friend. This sense of “What’s called for now? How do I best care for myself?” That becomes very involved in the work with trauma. Even if the guidance is like a full body scan, it might be enough to do moving the hands in circles and the feet in circles and feeling those sensations and allowing that to be enough. So there’s much greater sense of caring for one’s boundaries. In fact, the way that MBSR is taught is so much around discovering “What are my limits right now?” Whether that’s in a stretch or whether that’s in some kind of emotional investigation that’s happening.

For many of us, we don’t know. It takes a lot of experimenting to feel into what that edge is for me, and when there’s been trauma, that has been hurt in some way. So cultivating this learning around being gentle with oneself and even being conservative at first with what those limits are. So it’s very deep. I feel like it really touches quite deep healing.

TS: Can you help me understand, if I’m working with an emotion, what you mean by “finding my limit with that emotion through mindfulness?”

FM: Yes. So, there can be times when…let’s take an emotion. Let’s take anger; let’s stay with anger for a moment. So, sensing a feeling of even beginning to recognize how that [anger] manifes

TS: in the body—maybe there’s a sense of heat or the stomach tightens or there’s a fluttering at the gut or a pumping of the heart that comes with the anger. So it’s noticing right there that the body is responding to this. Touching into and learning more about, what’s the range here? It could move from frustration to irritation to a greater sense of anger and moving right to rage. As one gets to know oneself more, feeling into, I would say first of all the body is the stress detector itself. And getting very familiar with how the body registers emotion is key. And then from there, being able to make choices around “is there a choice to move into the story and the content of this? Is it possible to allow the story to be known but not featured as much as allowing the body to register what this emotion is and how it’s reflected in the body?” And then the story can be explored.

So, the more it can come into this, particularly [the] sensory element, it can allow a lot, a lot of choice and a lot of greater insight into one’s self. Because very often, the emotion rises strongly and we move into reactivity. We want to push it away or we want to totally engage around the story. With giving the emotion a range to be expressed but not acted on, there’s possibility here to develop greater skill and sensitivity with oneself, and fluidity with emotions.

TS: Now one of the things that is really interesting to me about our conversation so far is this emphasis on choice and you could say, choosing mindfulness—choosing to be mindful in different momen

TS:. You mentioned your meditation background and often in meditation traditions, they talk about the practice taking you out of a sense of self, out of the sense of the chooser. Just bringing you into this big, vast space where there’s no sense of the self, and yet it seems like you’re choosing. One could think, “Well, you know, there’s me making these choices.” I’m wondering how you work with that paradox in MBSR?

FM: I think sometimes there can be almost a spiritual bypass into the spacious, empty, no-self. The Dalai Lama talks about there being a sense of self. I love this quote from Suzuki Roshi, where he’s asked, “How much ego does one need?” And he says, “Just enough to not step on the street and get hit by a bus.” So I think this sense of choice is here. It might be perceived as discernment, as choosing to kind of tack the sails of your life and turn in a certain way. I think just spiritual practice itself involves the choice to be awake. The choice to engage with discipline and to engage with the discovery of what is possible in terms of the layers and layers we call “me”. You know, to leap over into a kind of a non-self, it’s there but it also has these layers of discernment.

TS: One of the areas of applied mindfulness that I know you’ve done a lot of work in—and I’m quite curious to know about how it actually plays out in real life—is this area of interpersonal mindfulness. I’m wondering if you can talk some about that and introduce this term to our listeners?

FM: The interpersonal mindfulness? Yeah, I love this! I’ve studied a lot with Gregory Kramer, who developed Insight Dialogue. This is a meditation practice that you’re engaged with another person in dialogue while both people are in full choice of being awake. So dropped in and aware of the words that are rising. Aware of the hearing, and how we receive and exchange in a space of mutuality. So, it’s not communication exercises at all, but it actually has the potential—just as I was speaking about with these layers of individuality or of choice and of spaciousness as well—to be touched in one of the most challenging places (I’ll go back to that word) to remember. To choose to be awake. To choose to be present. To choose to attend moment to moment.

One of the easiest places for us is when we are in contact with one another, which is often. But in that place it’s so easy to have a “you” and a “me” that goes into separation. And a “you” and a “me” that might be comparing mind that rises from this sense of “better than”, “worse than”, or “same as”. And to be actually there with a contemplation and that’s the topic of conversation, and that contemplation might be something like a shared human condition—like aging or illness or impermanence, judgments

—speaking of roles that we inhabit in our lives and to be in relationship and choosing to be awake together. One’s practice actually suppor

TS: the other person’s practice to be present and awake.

TS: Now that sounds very lovely, and I would like to actually try interpersonal mindfulness in that form, in that particular training form. But I’m also curious about, you know, here you’re with your partner—let’s say, your intimate partner—and he or she says something and you notice that all of your signals inside your body start to shift and you can’t believe that you want to get out of the car. You know, it’s like, “Stop the car, I’m getting out! I can’t handle this conversation!” We all know, we’ve all been in that experience. How can we remember when everything in us—I mean, anything like interpersonal mindfulness, I mean I can do it when I’m by myself walking out of my house or eating my meal, but when my partner says something that just flips all of my switches, I don’t have a hope or prayer of remembering anything.

FM: And it will happen. It’s just as you said. I mean, there will be times when we completely forget it all and just go into high, high reactivity. So it’s a place for compassion for how sensitive we are and how easily our vulnerability can be triggered. There is that.

There’s also the practice of being present with the body in activation. It’s like we might feel like we just can’t get out fast enough. As you were saying, I want to run. I mean, the fight or flight goes right into high, high pitch here. And so it might be in that flare of reactivity that we’re offline. But as soon as we can, to be able to say, “Whoa, look what just happened!” And perhaps, if there’s enough agreement in the relationship to be able to say, “I’m just totally triggered right now and I need to stop.” To get some space, care for oneself, connect with the body, and connect with the heart that somehow just got triggered and not have to figure it all out.

But I think this is a place that the wisdom of stopping or pausing is essential, and that is part of the interpersonal practice. Really pausing when we’re just lost in our story or lost in our reactivity. This could happen many times and when it’s a high-challenge time…as soon as we can catch it afterwards, personally that’s what I’ve had to do is just sort of say, “Wow! Look what just happened! I can’t see clearly yet so it’s better not to engage in another conversation right now.”

TS: Now Florence, I know you’ve taught hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people now [about] mindfulness-based stress reduction. I’m curious to know what part of the program, if there is a part, seems to be the most challenging for people?

FM: I think establishing a daily practice is one of the real challenges for people. A lot of times people will take the program because they feel they have not enough time in their life. They’re feeling the pressures and the demands to do more in less time. I think many of us experience how real that is, the pressure around the instantness of our culture in our work lives and times. And then they come into a program and are asked to establish, to take some time. It’s a literally carved time because if we wait for it, it’s never going to show up. But it’s a matter of taking a stand that this is something I want to establish in my life. That is very hard for a lot of people. So it takes a lot of encouragement and checking in—what are you discovering in your own practice here? How are you making the time to build a practice in your life? And the informal practice is a wonderful avenue to start threading it through the day for sure, but the formal practice becomes such a touchstone that that regularity builds greater and greater reliability to remember.

TS: And how can you help people who just say, “You know, you’re right Florence. You hit the nail on the head. That’s my challenge. I can’t seem to figure out how to practice every day. I do the informal part but I just don’t have a formal practice.” How can you help inspire people or work with their resistance around that?

FM: Well I think there’s something around the fact that making a commitment to oneself is really a worthwhile endeavor. So many of us are so fast to offer to others, to care for others. And so many of us have demands on our lives for caring for others whether it’s at work or in families, parenting, caring for elders. So much heart is involved in the longing to help and support other people’s lives, but it really begins at home. It’s like we can’t give if we’re running on empty.

Take time to have healing intervals. Not just the little ones—the informal ones matter, but to allow oneself a period of time that is for being and not the doer. Even though there is activity with practice, the heart of it is allowing oneself to be, and knowing that that is nourishing. Also knowing that that is a way of building resources so that when the demands are high there’s actually something to draw from that has been invested in one’s own life. It’s that place that will help one recover more quickly from being triggered in an argument with a partner or getting news that suddenly shocks you. It’s that daily practice that will build resilience. So, repetition, even if you’re very busy and you have 10 minutes, that matters. But it’s the choice about one’s own life, about not missing this life and not just the surface but taking it deep into deep questions of, “What do I want with this precious life? What do I want to do with it? How do I want to live?”

TS: Beautiful. Now I know in MBSR training that you help people work with perception, and I wonder if you can talk a little bit about that?

FM: Sure. I would say that perception is one of the key elements in how much stress we encounter and how much it impacts us. And often perception is very much focused on sort of seeing the world, but it’s also feeling. So this sense of cultivating a greater sense of the perceptiveness of the body. The sensory field of the body. If I am perceiving—I can give you an example—something as threatening is some way or overwhelming in some particular way, then my reaction to that is going to be stressful. I am going to feel stressed by it. If I see it as something that’s challenging but I can learn from it, it’s going to have a different impact on me. I’m going to meet it differently.

So an example I have around this is that I was asked a while ago to speak at a conference. It was a really big conference and I got this envelope in the mail with all of the details that I had to fill out and I was very time-pressed. As soon as I saw the envelope I started feeling my palms get sweaty and my face flushed and my heart pounded a bit. And because I was aware of the body I was like, “Whoa! Something’s happening here! Here it is! It’s a bona-fide stress reaction.” As soon as I could name what it was I just put it down and I stepped away for a while. I actually went to wash dishes. There’s something in just being present with the water—the feeling and the warmth of the water and taking care of a daily task—that helped me ground more and collect my energy. Then when I felt more stable, I picked up the envelope again and I looked at and it was very doable. I could see it much more doably than when I first had seen it through the lens of overwhelm. I was able to step away, ground with the body, take care of myself in the moment, and then reenter the same situation but differently.

So I’ll often say, “What are the glasses you’re wearing? How am I looking at this situation here? Is it challenging? Is it overwhelming? Am I caring for myself? Do I feel up to the task? Do I need some space? Do I need to consult with someone who might be able to help?”

TS: I think a lot of people can relate to what you’re saying, and have experiences in their life where they feel overwhelmed by something but they think, “You know, I should probably just push through.” How do you know when you should just push through? You know, I’m afraid if I take a break I’ll never get it done, and I’ve got so much to do.

FM: Well, you know, I think that the idea of taking a break may sound like going to an island in the Caribbean for a period of time, but it could be a split second. It could be a moment of coming to the breath and saying, “This is a tall order in front of me, and so I’m going to just take a few moments to feel myself sitting. To feel the breath. To open to the challenge in front of me.” Just that choosing to connect—to ground in the present moment and to meet the experience more fully—it actually saves time. Because, often, if we leap into it with a lot of tension, a lot of pressure, our clarity isn’t as sharp. There’s more agitation at work. So even a few moments of grounding and settling can move the project. Or whatever the challenge is, move the work more skillfully.

TS: Now Florence, I know that you’re quite an innovator within the field of MBSR and bringing MBSR to different populations. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about the work you’re doing in education and also with adolescents

, and how you see MBSR being introduced to different audiences?

FM: There are many…actually, you know, because mindfulness is an innate human capacity in all of us and can be cultivated—attentional strength can actually be cultivated—the values of it can apply across a lifespan. There are many people who are bringing it from the first moments of gestation with pregnant couples to the last breaths in palliative care.

When I was working at this mental health facility, part of this place was a residential center for children who were in state custody because their families weren’t the safest places for them. It was at that time, also, that I wanted to find ways to bring the value of meditation to these adolescents who had already suffered so much in their lives. Being at the Center for Mindfulness, I continued with that, and another influence on me was the parents. A lot of adults in our MBSR classes would say, “If only I had this when I was a teenager,” or, “If only my child could be introduced to these practices, I think it would make such a difference in their lives.” So all of those influences came together around children and around how to strengthen this generation.

It sounds so big, but I feel like we really have a responsibility to offer the upcoming generations that are growing up and will inherit the world and the number of challenges around ecological, financial, and global issues. You know, what do these children really need? Memorization isn’t going to be as important as collaboration, as self-awareness, as finding ways to touch what is deepest and truest in every human being, so that respect can grow for oneself and everybody.

So for youth, I felt that this was really important, and from seeing the power and impact and brilliance of the MBSR program, I brought it to adolescents. I’ve trained professionals to deliver it as well. I’m hoping to bring this out more into the world. The name of this program is called Cool Minds, and when the kids here took it there were a lot of different realizations that they had. They found it hard to find time to practice. That was one of them. They did do more informal practices, but they found that pausing was a resource for them from jumping into reactivity, whether that was judgment of themselves or another. A sense of common humanity showed increases—that they could see that their own uniqueness and the beauty of who they were but also of one another began to grow. Particularly around the crisis of bullying right now, that feels so essential.

So for youths, I feel like there are multiple potentials here for them. With work with educators, what I have felt was that to strengthen the people who are in direct with kids is a very strong avenue, so that if in a day, one teacher introduces a few momen

TS: of awareness of breath or of moving the body with awareness, that that’s going to build in a student’s day. And it’s also going to nourish the teachers who so often are highly dedicated and under intense duress with just the way the educational system has such high demands right now.

TS: Well I want to thank you for the work you’re doing, on behalf of all of the people who are listening. Thanks for Cool Minds and The Aware Teacher. Thank you for those programs. I’m wondering, Florence, as we end our conversation, if you might be willing to offer a short mindfulness practice that we could all do with you right now that might be useful if somebody finds themself in a situation and they think, “You know, I’m clearly uptight right now. I feel overwhelmed. I need to pause. I need to stop. I’m not quite sure how to relate to myself, but it’s clear that I need to do that.” Could you take us through maybe just a five-minute practice that I could do in a situation like that?

FM: OK, sure. I’d love to.

So, the key here is pausing and choosing to connect with yourself as you are right now. So there’s no need to have any idealized condition right now. If you’re feeling tense, notice that. If there is a longing in your heart, be present with that. If the mind is filled with thoughts and feeling pressured, just stopping with that, being present. It’s like this right now. This is the way it is. Making space for it to be known.

And now, sensing into the body. If you’re standing, feeling the body receiving the force of gravity. Feeling the pressure at the feet. The gravity pulling at the shoulders, at the jaw. And also sensing the anti-gravity, the uprightness, the lift and buoyancy of the body.

If you’re sitting, sensing in to the contact. Feeling how your body is receiving this support beneath. The legs, the buttocks, the support at the back. The contact and warmth of your hands.

And now, sensing the breath. Without needing to change the breath in any way, just sensing the flow and rhythm of the breath. When the mind wanders from the breath, inviting yourself back. Sensing if the breath is deep and long or if it’s shorter. It’s just like this right now. Allowing attentiveness to ride on each in-breath and each out-breath. Each breath is a new beginning.

So when you find that you get caught in thinking and planning, it’s OK, just simply noticing that is a moment of being awake. You can escort your attentiveness right now, right to this breath.

Now, if you’d like, you can stay present with your breathing. And if you would like to expand here, you can expand to bringing the entire body in awareness. Sensing the body from the feet and the legs. The lower and the upper torso. Hands and arms and shoulders. The neck and the head, the face. Embracing the entire body in awareness with sensations at the level of the skin and muscles and perhaps deeper in the body in the form of this entire body. Pulsing, throbbing, temperature.

Coming home. Coming home to this moment. Coming home to awareness. Full awareness here. The body as it is. Making space for whatever emotions and whatever thoughts may be present. Allowing yourself to be as you are just now.

TS: Beautiful! Thank you so much!

FM: Thank you!

TS: I’ve been speaking with Florence Meleo-Meyer. Along with Saki Santorelli, the director of The Center for Mindfulness, Florence has created a new comprehensive online training on mindfulness-based stress reduction. This program which has been taught in person now to over 20,000 people, is available online— a comprehensive training in MBSR. Soundstrue.com. Many voices, one journey. Thanks for listening.